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All reviewsjacuzzi on the balconymaster suitelounge chairswalk into towncharming hotelno elevatorwedding plannerloved this hotelsitting areahotel guestsview of the baysmall hoteldowntown zihuatanejogreat poolmexican hotelcevicherestaurant staff
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Reviewed February 18, 2013

My wife and I recently got married at Hotel Aura Del Mar. I will start by saying if you are thinking about having your wedding at Hotel Aura Del Mar and have any questions both my wife and I would be more than happy to answer them!!

The hotel itself is a beautiful traditional Mexican style hotel. Its grounds are immaculate. We stayed in the Noyoltzi Suite, which is the three-bedroom suite at the very top of the hotel. Each of the two ocean view rooms were large and comfortable. The bathrooms were clean and functional (water pressure was a bit low…but it adds to the charm of being in Mexico). One of our most favorite parts about the room was the open air living room/dining room/kitchen. Every morning the 4 of us staying in the suite would enjoy our coffee on the comfortable couches/chairs looking out at the sunrise over Zihuatanejo Bay. At night it was also a great spot for cocktail hour/sunset with other friends and family that were staying at the hotel. The third bedroom in back was fine…it is a bit smaller than the other two rooms and does not have a view of the ocean but would make for a great room for kids if you were traveling with a family.

The rest of the hotel and its grounds were immaculate. The hotel constantly had staff sweeping, mopping, pruning and cleaning the ENTIRE time we were there. The beautiful local art, the little nooks and crannies throughout the hotel with plants and flowers growing everywhere added to the overall charm of the hotel.

The pool area was GREAT! Again, constantly being cleaned and picked up you never felt as though the pool area was cluttered with garbage or empty plastic bottles/beer bottles or left over breakfast/lunch dishes. The pool itself was kept very clean also…and the waterslide was a BLAST!! It was not only a favorite part for the kids, but the adults also had a great time using the slide. I truly think that EVERY person we had staying at the hotel (from my 6 year old niece to my 70+ year old uncle) went down the waterslide.

The beach access and lounge area are also great! The hotel has a little private area down at the beach so you are not bothered by the few locals trying to sell you things on the beach and Playa Madera, while not as big as Playa La Ropa, is by far my favorite beach in Zihuatanejo. It is a short pleasant walk into town, which is a definite bonus vs. staying on Playa La Ropa which is not such a short pleasant walk into town.

Now to the staff and the wedding and the restaurant.

The hotel has an in-house wedding planner named Janet. I truly cannot say enough good things about Janet!! Starting with the planning from Seattle. It is a little nerve racking thinking about planning one of the most important days of your life 3000 miles away but Janet was on it!! The constant barrage of emails that both my wife and I sent her were ALWAYS answered within 24 hours and often times within an hour or two of receiving them. She set up all of our meetings with the florist/DJ/Restaurant etc. the first couple of days we were there. She thoughtfully set up only 2 meetings per day so that we could also enjoy the few days before our guests arrived. And the meetings were great. Janet’s overall attitude was “of course…what ever you want”. TRULY, she never once said “that is not included” or “I am going to have to see if that is in the budget” or “I am not sure we can do that”. Every single answer was “yes of course we can do that” and “yes of course that is included”. The day of the wedding also went flawlessly. Janet was on top of EVERYTHING!! From the setup down at the beach, to the few special items we asked for our Jewish ceremony, to the table set up, to the fact that for some strange reason the night of the wedding the breeze happened to stop and within 5 minutes of asking, the hotel staff was passing around cold wet towels to all 95 of our wedding guests and continued to pass them around during the entire party. Again, Janet truly did an AMAZING job! Without hesitation, I would give Janet a 5+ star rating as our wedding coordinator/go-to girl the entire trip!!

We also dealt with Miguel quite a bit before the wedding. Miguel was the guy who helped us book the entire hotel. I also can’t say enough about how helpful he was in dealing with ALL of our family and friends trying to book different people for different nights and all different dates. He also with the help from Carlos (the hotels concierge) helped set up suburban’s to and from the airport for all of our friends and family. As with Janet, Miguel was very prompt with returning emails to not only my wife and I but also to all of the hotel guests that were staying with us.

I also have to mention Fabien and Jacqueline. They were both always ready to help with WHATEVER we needed. I also don’t know how he does it but I truly think that within 24 hours of checking in Fabien knew all of our names. It was quite a treat hearing “Buenas Dias senor Sam” every morning and “of course senor Sam we can do that for you” and “Buenas Noches senor Sam…I hope you had a great day”. Also, everybody’s good friend Alexander the hotels bell boy…who helps with taking your bags up and down the stairs (and let me tell you there are A LOT of stairs) when you check in and check out of the hotel. This guy ran up and down these stairs for hours with hundreds of pounds of luggage in his arms with the biggest smile on his face.

Finally Francisco (and the rest of the bar/restaurant staff). During the week prior to the wedding the restaurant staff was GREAT! Constantly re-filling beverages, running food from the restaurant to the pool area several times a day and making sure that the night of the wedding EVERYBODY had what they needed. The food at the hotel restaurant was delicious and affordable.

All in all I would say my wife and I as well as the rest of the 90+ guests we had both staying at the hotel and at our wedding would give the Hotel Aura Del Mar a 5+ star rating. We truly had the wedding/week of a lifetime and again, if you are planning a wedding at Aura Del Mar PLEASE don’t hesitate to get ahold of us for more questions/comments.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SamAlhadeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We had been to Zihua 2 other times and fell in love with everything it had to offer! On one of our daily walks, we made it a point to visit several hotels in the La Madera area. We felt the charm and hospitality of the hotel and their staff the first time we walked into the lobby!

That was June, so we immediately began planning a return trip to Zihua in December, and Brisas Del Mar was our pick. We were thrilled that we made the right decision! Our daughter and her family joined us last minute, and the hotel, thru our e-mails, was able to accommodate us in every way. Even with 2 small childern, everything from the turtle release in the bay, the slide at the pool, the parrot that welcomes guests with a "hola!", and with La Madera Beach right at your feet, this hotel scored a 10 with our family!

Brisa Del Mar is our new found favorite, and is an excellent hotel in which to experience Zihua and all it has to offer.

Thank you, Brisas, we will be back soon!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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Thank jackaroofresno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 18, 2013

My husband and I spent a wonderful week at Las Brisas del Mar over the New Year and couldn't have had a more relaxing, enjoyable break.

As arranged with the hotel, Carlos picked us up at the airport and after handing us ice-cold water and lovely, refreshing towels whisked us away to the hotel in no time. We were extremely grateful for this fast and efficient service given that we had left the in-laws in New York during a snowstorm the night before and were rather exhausted after 14 hours of travel.

The check-in process couldn't have gone more smoothly. Since we had arrived just before noon, we were given one of the "hospitality" rooms facing the street so that we could get changed, have a shower and then just go down to the pool until our room was ready. By the time we felt slightly recovered, our room - no. 17 "Puerto Vallarta", which was at the same level as reception and thus on the top floor of the hotel, was ready and waiting for us. I was really pleased - not only that we had been given a top-floor room as requested by email but also because we got married in P.V. six years ago so the name of the room made us feel at home immediately!

The room was airy, spacious and equipped with beautiful wooden furniture and Mexican art work. Air-conditioning, fridge, shower and safe were working perfectly. We particularly liked the two vanity sinks in the bathroom (no wrangling for the sink for once!) and the jacuzzi on our balcony, not to mention the out-of-this-world views across the bay. However, it was the little touches - such as the beautiful flower petal pictures left on our bed each day - that made us feel really welcome and at home.

Staff were lovely and gracious across the board - from reception to the beach restaurant, the cleaning ladies and spa staff - they couldn't have been friendlier and more helpful. I know I am at a little bit of an advantage on account of speaking Spanish reasonably fluently but at the same time, their friendliness seemed absolutely genuine and unconditional, not dependent on language skills or tips. I feel particularly indebted to Francisco, Jacqueline and everybody at reception who were extremely gracious when at check-out a question mark arose over our deposit (entirely a misunderstanding on my part, I hasten to add). Staff allowed me to use the manager's laptop to access my Amex account online and then make a number of long-distance phone-calls to the UK to verify a transaction. As I said, it turned out to be completely my fault and yet, nobody gloated or made me feel small. Instead, I was allowed to check in online for our three separate flights home and print out our boarding passes (btw, the hotel has a nice little business centre with two desktop computers which can be used for free but they are not hooked up to a printer so ask at reception if you need to print anything).

We loved the hotel's little beach area which is directly on Playa de Madera but still "private". Despite the season, we never had a problem getting sunbeds - even after 11 am. We originally had mixed feelings about travelling during the busy holiday period which would see large numbers of tourists, as well as crowds of locals on the beach but actually found this to be an extremely endearing feature in the end. It is lovely to watch four generations of a Mexican family arrive on the beach equipped with pretty much everything but the kitchen sink and just enjoy great "family time" together. Somehow, many of them appear to have maintained a much healthier relationship between the generations with Grandma firmly ruling the roost and even the little ones being well-adjusted and well behaved!

We enjoyed our daily breakfast at the Brisas del Mar bistro on the beach (I know, there would have been cheaper places in town but we just loved the view and the service - gracias, Martín!) - there was a nice choice of Mexican and international breakfast options although our clear favourite were the "Huevos á la Mexicana"! We had one lovely dinner at the bistro, too, on the first night but never got a chance to go back - too many other options! We walked into town on a few occasions (lovely 10-minute stroll along the beach) and ate at Coconuts (where the food and atmosphere were lovely but the waiter actually followed my husband outside because he felt we hadn't left enough of a tip!!! We live in Europe and don't feel that a 20% tip is justified, especially if the service is mediocre at best!) and Lety's. We also walked out to La Ropa and had a lovely meal with gorgeous views at the Puerta del Sol and another one on the beach at La Perla (and burnt off all the calories walking home again!) The highlight was New Year's Eve dinner at La Espuma where the views were amazing (although the fireworks across the bay were rather disappointing), the menu ecclectic and the price equally lofty. Still, it was New Year's Eve and we just had a wonderful time!

We also treated ourselves to a couple's massage on the beach (two for the price of one!) and I had a facial at the spa. Both were lovely and the two ladies (Isabel and Clara, if I remember rightly) couldn't have been friendlier.

We did one excursion with Ixtapa Adventure tours (great company, they picked us up at our hotel and we actually had the guide to ourselves) to Barra de Potosí which was absolutely fabulous. Our guide, Javiér, had a keen interest in his country's ecology and bio-diversity and led us through the Refugio with both enthusiasm and knowledge (it is a truly wonderful place to visit). We also loved the beach and kayaking through the mangroves taking dozens of pictures of all the amazing birdlife. He finally set us up with a beautiful seafood lunch - Red Snapper al Diablo - which truly cleared our sinuses!

In all, our stay in Zihua has cemented our love for Mexico in general (we met in Playa del Carmen 10 years ago) and our affection for the Pacific Coast in particular - we'll be back, hasta la próxima!

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor (same level as reception) have the most wonderful bay view. We had #17 with jacuzzi and it was lovely!
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NCVienna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Just returned from our first visit to Zihuantanejo. Found Brisas del Mar on tripadvisor through Alaska Airlines. We were very pleased with our choice. Small hotel with much personality. All the rooms have a lovely view of the bay. Staff is helpful and very friendly. Fresh flowers on our bed in the morning and in the evening! Restaurant is great, but pricey for the area. Pool area is one of the nicest we have enjoyed! Slide is a blast for adults as well as the kids! Only area of disappointment was the beach. We've been spoiled by the white sand of the Caribbean! However that is not the hotel's problem. Great place to stay!

Room Tip: Zihuantanejo is full of steps and hills. This hotel is no exception. We stayed in a Junior Suite which was on the lowest level. It was perfect!
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 60880Anne5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed at Brisas for our September honeymoon. Since this is considered the low season in Zihua, and most of the rooms were empty. We had the pool to ourselves, never had a problem finding a beach chair, and the full attention of the restaurant staff. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. Carlos, our concierge, helped us find our way around town, recommended restaurants, and made reservations for us for our sunset cruise and a cooking class nearby.

Playa La Madera is a great spot--a little less-upscale than some of the other beaches in the bay, but a shorter walk into town. Make sure you visit some of the beach restaurants close by and sample tiritas with your Coronas.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank JessiStrong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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